Press Release
February 3, 2017


MANILA - To help stop the burning bodies of evidence, crematories must keep proper records to aid investigations requiring identification of cremated remains, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said Friday.

Pangilinan has filed Senate Bill 1312, or the "Mandatory Collection of Biological Specimen and Identification Samples Act of 2017." The proposed measure requires crematories to keep books of record containing the name, age, sex, and residence of each person whose body is cremated. It also requires crematories to keep in file digital photos, dental impression, and biological samples for purposes of DNA analysis. These records are to be open at reasonable times for inspection.

In the bill's explanatory note, Pangilinan noted the ease with which criminals bury all traces of their crime through cremation.

"Appropriate measures must become necessary to ensure that cremation will not be taken advantage of by criminal elements to obstruct investigations and ultimately, the delivery of justice," said the Liberal Party president.

Pangilinan earlier filed Senate Bill 1307 which pushes for mandatory autopsy in suspicious death cases. This measure requires forensic autopsies be conducted in 12 instances, including deaths resulting from commission of crimes, deaths occurring under suspicious circumstances, and deaths occurring in prison or penal institution or while in custody of the police.

Senate Bills 1307 and 1312 were filed in response to the unprecedented killing of over 7,000 people in the government's war on drugs, and the kidnap-slay case of South Korean businessman Jee Ik Joo that earned the ire of the international community.

"Measures must be put in place in order to specify proper cremation procedures, ensure that accurate examinations are conducted, and investigations are not hampered on cases when a crime is committed," Pangilinan added.

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